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Journal Article

Ontology Driven e‑Government  pp405-414

Peter Salhofer, Bernd Stadlhofer, Gerald Tretter

© Dec 2009 Volume 7 Issue 4, ECEG 2009, Editor: Frank Bannister, pp295 - 432

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Abstract

This paper presents an approach to model ontologies for the e‑Government domain as a basis for an integrated e‑Government environment. Over the last couple of years the application of semantic methodologies and technologies in the e‑Government domain has become an important field of research. A significant number of these approaches aim at automatic service discovery and service orchestration (Lu et al. 2004) (Crichton et al. 2007) by adding and utilizing semantic annotations to web services. In contrast to these approaches it was our idea to use semantic methodologies in a more forward‑engineering manner — to create a semantic model first and to use this model e.g. for service selection but also as basis for the automatic generation of "intelligent" web forms. Thus the ontologies can be seen as a model that forms the basis of a Model Driven Architecture (Miller et al. 2001) approach to e‑Government. That is why we call it Ontology Driven e‑Government. The principle is rather straightforward. Every public service is semantically modeled and contains references to the required input elements. Any constraints on the service input element — also known as preconditions — can be expressed by semantic rules and evaluated by semantic reasoners. This allows for an automatic creation of (web) forms and interactive plausibility checks of data gathered from the user. Instead of scattering logic over numerous functions and procedures in all possible layers of an application, it is now consistently kept in the semantic model. Another key advantage of this approach is that the knowledge of public services becomes available in a machine processable form which allows for much more than just forms creation. Discovering the citizen's actual goal is one of these use‑cases and is actually a very central and important step. When developing the idea of ontology driven e‑Government it was one main idea to achieve a strong decoupling between the form solution and the backend. Such a decoupling can be achieved by transforming the input data into a common data interchange standard format, which was EDIAKT II (Freitter et al. 2006) — an XML Schema definition for the exchange of electronic documents between public authorities in Austria — in our case. Following this approach the input data can be consumed by any application supporting the data interchange standard EDIAKT II like the SOA‑backend also proposed in this paper.

 

Keywords: e-government, ontology, WSMLWSMO, goal orientation, form generation

 

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Journal Article

Towards a Semantic Interoperability in an e‑Government Application  pp209-226

Fathia Bettahar, Claude Moulin, Jean-Paul Barthes

© Jan 2009 Volume 7 Issue 3, Editor: Frank Bannister, pp209 - 294

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Abstract

Research issues have emerged from the rapid introduction of new technologies in government services in order to deliver efficient and cost effective services, information and knowledge through information and communication technologies. However, the complexity of government services and the diversity of actors involved in the processes make the access to the right information difficult and pose several problems. Some problems are linked to the way of presenting and accessing information. Other problems are linked to interoperability among applications and processes of eGovernment services. The objective of the European TerreGov project is to find a solution to such problems. The project focuses on the semantic requirements of governments at local, intermediate and regional levels, needed to build flexible and interoperable tools to support the change towards eGovernment services. We propose, within this project, an ontology to present knowledge and to achieve the required level of semantic interoperability. We use the ontology to describe the domain knowledge of the organization and to index the resources from which civil servants may receive information. The key point of the system is a unique and multimodal ontology used simultaneously for describing domain knowledge, for adding semantics to agency services, for indexing various documents in knowledge bases used by civil servants and finally for supporting the interaction between the users and the system. We present in this paper the challenges of using ontology in eGovernment environments, such as the lack of expressivity of the formalism chosen for interoperability in the project and the risk of inconsistency when the ontology changes. We propose our solution to such challenges and we demonstrate the use of the ontology by the module in charge of managing complex tasks in the system.

 

Keywords: ontology, e-government, ontology formalism, semantic interoperability

 

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Journal Article

A new Usage for Semantic Technologies for eGovernment: Checking Official Documents Consistency  pp120-133

Fred Freitas, Zacharias Candeias Jr, Heiner Stuckenschmidt

© Dec 2010 Volume 8 Issue 2, ECEG Conference Issue, Editor: Frank Bannister, pp83 - 235

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Abstract

Semantic technologies, and particularly the ones related to the Semantic Web and its ontologies, have proven useful for many government related applications and prototypes, such as service configuration, automatic service connection among many others. This is possible because the Semantic Web is based on ontologies, which, in practical words, stands for a detailed conceptualization of a domain and its concepts, relations, constraints and axioms, defined in an unambiguous manner using formal logic. On the other hand, official documents, and particularly legal ones like law codes, often contain semantic deficiencies that are not realized by their authors. The most common among them are ambiguities, inconsistencies and under specifications. These deficiencies are certainly a source of systems’ and databases’ integration problems and confusion during their usage, when the definitions’ intended meanings can differ depending upon the stakeholder. During the ontology development of a domain as simple as vehicles, we have witnessed such phenomena. The necessity of defining the different vehicle types in detail for classification and checking purposes shed light on some of these deficiencies present in two Brazilian legal codes. In this work, we present the building process of the ontology, the resulting ontology and show how these deficiencies were evidenced during its construction. This fact actually opens up new possibilities in the usage of semantic technologies, as guides to check whether official documents are ontologically and logically correct, by not containing ambiguities, under specification or inconsistencies.

 

Keywords: ontology-based analysis of texts, semantic deficiencies, vehicles, eGovernment, law, ontology engineering, law consistency, official documents consistency

 

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Journal Article

The Challenges of Accelerating Connected Government and Beyond: Thailand Perspectives  pp183-202

Asanee Kawtrakul, Intiraporn Mulasastra, Tawa Khampachua, Somchoke Ruengittinun

© Dec 2011 Volume 9 Issue 2, ECEG, Editor: Frank Bannister, pp93 - 222

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Abstract

Key issues to make Thailand more dynamic, competitive and prepared for ASEAN economic integration are the implementation of Internal Smart with eGovernment, International Smart with intergovernmental processes and overcoming language barriers. As a first step towards internal smart or being a smart society, eGovernment has been implementing since 2000 in order to improve government services, transactions and interactions with citizens and business. Since 2007, the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology has been developing the Thailand eGovernment Interoperability Framework (TH e‑GIF) as guidelines for transformation to connected government. However, the transformation has been slow for six main reasons: lack of national data standards and standard governance body, lack of clear understanding about common processes across all involved stakeholders, lack of best practices and knowledge sharing in implementation, lack of data quality and data collection resources, lack of laws and regulations in data sharing and absence of a proactive mindset. The challenges are how to accelerate connected government and push forward to the connected ASEAN. This work focuses on three main activities: analyzing the gaps and prioritizing the need of information exchange, providing systematic approach for data standardization as well as developing a roadmap for moving towards a smart government with smart health, smart education, smart agriculture, smart tourism, smart trade and smart energy by 2015. Using best practices and the road map, the creation of connected government and connection to ASEAN can be pursued in a strategic and rapid manner. Moreover, secure e‑transactions with supportive laws, science, technologies and innovation are also key factors for ec onomic growth sustainability and community well‑being enhancement.

 

Keywords: data standardization, TH e-GIF, connected government, connected ASEAN, data landscape, information logistic, ontology based information exchange, connected government roadmap

 

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Journal Issue

Volume 7 Issue 4, ECEG 2009 / Dec 2009  pp295‑432

Editor: Frank Bannister

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Keywords: Africa, back-office automation, Brazil, citizens’ participation, developing countries, DOI and emerging economy access, DynaVote, e-government data interoperability, e-Justice, electronic voting, eVoting requirements, Fez e-government, form generation, GIF, goal orientation, governance, health information systems, implementation, information technology, institution theory, integration strategy, intellectual capital, interoperability, Interoperability tool, inter-organizational collaboration, joined-up government, new public management, ontology, perceived risk, practically, public value, records computerization, records management, supply chain management (SCM), TAM, technology acceptance model, trust, web services, WSML/WSMO, XML schema

 

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